Jon Lawrence was born in Pontypridd, Wales in 1975. At a young age Jon was singing and playing home-made drum kits made from tea-trays and laundry baskets! He wasn’t a popular child! In 1990 Jon began writing. His words and music have been influenced by artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Crowded House, Elvis Costello, Big Country, The Beatles, Peter Gabriel, Sting and Martyn Joseph. Playing piano and acoustic guitar he released his first album Shipwrecked at the age of 15 and performed many of his songs with Pretty Little Ditty, his first band. By this time Jon was already performing extensively as a solo acoustic performer. In 1994 Jon was recruited into successful Leicester blues band, Riverside whose eponymous album included three of Jon’s compositions. Jon performed many shows with the blues band playing both piano and guitar as well as providing vocals. In 1995 Jon formed the band Stripe which was an original band playing a wide range of styles from Celtic to jazz and funk to calypso. The band performed many successful gigs before disbanding in 1997. Jon studied music at Bretton Hall University of Leeds between 1997 and 2000 where he received his honours degree in Popular Music. A day after graduating Jon was appointed lecturer in Popular Music at the College of West Anglia in Norfolk where he has worked since.
In 2001, following the death of friend in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre, Jon released the EP Just Like the Rain which received substantial airplay as well as TV coverage. Sales of the CD and an accompanying charity concert helped to raise nearly £20,000 for the widows and orphans of the New York Fire department as well as a baby unit in Yeovil Hospital. In 2005 Jon released Debris a collection of singer-songwriter material which had a Celtic vibe running through it. The album received airplay and plaudits as well as press coverage. In 2006 The Troubadour Ballads was released - a solo acoustic album of songs based around a collection of fictional characters struggling in contemporary society. The album addresses the personal aspects of the Iraq war and illegal immigration.
2007 saw the release of Albatross Bay a gathering of songs based on the Paul Theroux novel, The Mosquito Coast. The music was a fusion of contemporary singer-songwriter material and music from around the world. The album which was critically hailed by Rock n Reel magazine contains some unusual instruments such as the charango, the oud, duduk, and the sitar as well as a plethora of African and Asian drums. In the same year Jon recorded Something For Sassoon which was a collection of classical songs inspired by the poetry of Seigfreid Sassoon and Wilfred Owen. The album includes a couple of self-penned lyrics and some musical and narrated performance of some of the most poignant poetry every written. This has yet to be officially released.
Most recently Jon has released Isolated Incidents. The album of 14 songs is a more acoustic / rock oriented album with country flavours thrown in. The songs are a blend of driving acoustic guitar, banjo, organ and slide guitar.
In the same year Jon released, Cosi Ancora a soothing collection of minimalist piano tunes. It was dedicated to a friend who died of Cancer. Proceeds of the sales of the album were donated to Cancer Research.
Jon received critical acclaim for his next album The In-Between Worlds which was a mix of acoustic rock and traditional singer-songwriter material. The following tour to support the album took him all over the country but culminated in a sold-out show at the West-Acre Theatre in Norfolk.
The Girl in the Spotlight a year later was a much more intimate album which was full of jazzy piano ballads based on the tradition of Porter and Jerome Kern. Once again the album, which featured the tenor sax talents of Mark Wilkinson (Eddie Floyd) was well received and culminated in a sold out performance at The Hoste Arms Hotel, where so many great artists had performed (Dominic Miller).
Jon's latest release, due out in June 2011 is a barn-storming rock n roll EP called Retrophelia and was recorded live with his latest band The Retrophiles. His latest release is an acoustic / pop album called ...If We Run and Run... Jon also continues to write books and plays which are available from www.littleedenbooks.moonfruit.com